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The kind of bacteria living in your gut influences your overall health and your waist size. More than just digestive support, bacteria are able to communicate with the nervous system, your hormones, and the cells of your immune system.
Gut Bacteria Indicate Risk for Diabetes and Obesity
According to the latest discoveries in the field of microbiology, the bacteria living in your digestive tract may be a better predictor of type II diabetes than established risk factors like waist–hip ratio or BMI, Body Mass Index.
Other research suggests that gut bacteria are more accurate markers for obesity than anything else found in your genetic pool. (1)
Supporting your gut health can keep you lean to fight obesity, inflammation, and type II diabetes. Instead of counting calories to lose weight, eat fermented foods with each meal to transform your inner ecology and maintain a healthy weight!
The hormones that control blood sugar and the cells of your immune system largely respond to one thing: the bacteria living in the digestive tract. Over the years, studies have confirmed that:
- Lean individuals mostly harbor one kind of bacteria, while obese individuals harbor another. (2)
- In mice, if you inoculate the gut with one kind of bacteria, the results are predictable. The mice will either gain weight or remain stable, depending on the bacteria.
What this means is that while you may reap temporary rewards from cutting calories and hours spent at the gym, many times the key to weight gain and loss is found in the gut.
The Same Gut Bacteria Are Associated with Inflammation
After collecting stool samples from 91 Finnish women over the course of 9 months, researchers from Cornell University were surprised to find that as a woman nears her delivery date, the bacteria in her gut undergo a dramatic shift. (3)
Researchers found that as a pregnant woman moves from her first to her third trimester of pregnancy, her gastrointestinal tract begins to look remarkably similar the gastrointestinal tract of someone with metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of health conditions that increase risk for heart disease and type II diabetes. These are things like:
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar
As researchers looked closer at the inner ecology of pregnant women, they found that the same bacteria that are associated with both obesity and pregnancy are also associated with inflammation.
Certain groups of bacteria, specifically Proteobacteria, actually become more common in women during their third trimester of pregnancy.
Because Proteobacteria are associated with inflammatory bowel disease, they are rarely a good sign. (4) As suspected, when scientists checked the levels of inflammatory markers in the pregnant volunteers, they found more inflammation during the third trimester.
Next, unsure if the bacteria were causing the inflammation or if inflammation was influencing gut ecology, scientists gave sterile mice the bacteria from pregnant women. After two weeks, the same mice:
- Put on weight
- Had higher levels of blood sugar
- Had higher levels of inflammatory markers
Manage Your Gut Ecology with Fermented Foods: 2 Disease-Fighting Principles
When it comes to disease, it is important to remember two things:
- The bacteria found in your gut influence common diseases that involve obesity, inflammation, and high blood pressure.
- The foods that you eat influence the bacteria in your gut.
If you're focused on eating the “right” food, it’s essential to remember that everyone is unique. Each one of us has different dietary needs.
Certain foods support a balanced inner ecosystem more than others. At Body Ecology, we have a special fondness for fermented foods, such as cultured vegetables and probiotic beverages like Coconut Water Kefir and InnergyBiotic. This is because fermented foods inoculate the gut with beneficial bacteria while making sure your inner ecosystem remains healthy.
If you are uncertain about where to begin, you can start by adding one truly fermented food to your diet. Remember:
- Fermented foods are stronger than a probiotic supplement.
- The sour taste found in fermented food will help you to make other dietary changes, such as cutting out processed sugars and refined flours.
- These foods are close to nature, full of flavor, and brimming with nutrients!
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Not only can the type of bacteria found in your digestive tract influence your health, but it can impact your waist size too. Research also confirms that your gut bacteria may be a better predictor of developing type II diabetes than other well-known risk factors, including waist to hip ratio.
Across-the-board, researchers agree that lean individuals most often have a different type of intestinal bacteria than obese individuals. This means that while exercise and eating right can help you to lose weight initially, the true key to long-term weight loss is linked to gut bacteria!
You can manage your gut ecology and resist disease by keeping these two principles in mind:
- Your gut bacteria influence common diseases related to obesity, inflammation, and high blood pressure.
- The foods that you eat influence your gut bacteria.
Instead of trying to stick to an unrealistic diet, support your inner ecology with fermented foods and probiotic beverages, like cultured vegetables, Coconut Water Kefir, and InnergyBiotic, to benefit your health and your waistline at the same time!
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- E Yong. Microbiome sequencing offers hope for diagnostics.Nature News. Nature Publishing Group. Mar 23, 2012.
- RE Ley, et al. Microbial ecology: Human gut microbes associated with obesity. Nature. 2006; 444 (7122), 1022-1023.
- O Koren, et al. Host Remodeling of the Gut Microbiome and Metabolic Changes during Pregnancy. Cell. Aug 2012; 150 (3): 470 – 480.
- I Mukhopadva, et al. IBD-what role do Proteobacteria play? Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Feb 21; 9 (4): 219 – 230.
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